Pertti Vuorela

Archive for January 2014

Jan/14

20

Easier to raise money at home

Why Silicon Valley Can’t Find Europe / by Sten Tamkivi

Go to Europe these days – to Berlin, London, Helsinki – drop in on any of the regional tech confabs and you will quickly see that the European startup scene is in the most bustling, vibrant shape it’s ever been. The potential is everywhere, and the energy is undeniable. Then you return Stateside, in my case to Palo Alto, and Europe isn’t just irrelevant among the tech industry power-set. It has virtually ceased to exist.

You will be far more successful raising seed and early-stage VC financing close to home, on whichever side of the Atlantic it may be.

Looking at closed early-stage deals listings in Pitchbook, it is very clear that U.S.-based VCs invest in U.S. companies, and European VCs invest in Europe.

tamkivi-chart

In my experience, this mindset applies to institutional investors in a clearly structured way, but is a notable behavior even for private angels in AngelList. Investors believe that there is much more that they bring to the table than just money – but that ineffable “value” is hard to bring across long distances and multiple time zones. No matter how much the video calling has improved, board seats, hiring networks, corporate development efforts and just quick (unscheduled!) calls work much better in proximity. Raise your money at home.

Expat_logoA successful example of strategic development through international projects was the EXPAT Project, co-financed by EU Interreg IVA Central Baltic Sea Region Programme, where Uusimaa worked closely with the local international community, public authorities and stakeholders in order to improve the information and services available at place for the international talents and their families.

With its 10 partners from Finland, Latvia, Estonia and Sweden, the EXPAT Project shared experiences and improved the capability of the region to facilitate internationals’ accessibility to soft landing information services and to enhance internationals’ integration through social networks.

The project’s results are presented in a series of documents, which you can find on the page http://www.uudenmaanliitto.fi/expatproject

The list of documents summarized the aforementioned benchmark results, as well as analysis and policy recommendations for future actions in the issue of talent retention.

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